Pro Talk: Safety! Safety! Safety! – It Really is Important!
Did you know, there are thousands of preventable hospital visits each year due to firework related injuries? If you’re reading this blog, chances are you love fireworks! And so do we! But…there is a right way and a wrong way to setting off your backyard displays. Read below to avoid becoming a statistic this 4th of July!
Safely Lighting Fireworks
Follow these simple tips to avoid an unwanted trip to the emergency room this 4th of July!
- Stand at least 6 feet apart from other people
- Never hold more than one sparkler at a time
- Keep sparklers at arms length away from the body
- Close adult supervision is a MUST for young children
- Wear close-toed shoes to prevent accidental burns (sparks can fall to the ground!)
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to throw spent sparklers into
Pro Tip: Take a solo cup and poke the handle end of the sparkler through the cup. When your child is holding onto the sparkler, the cup should encompass their hand and prevent any sparks from accidentally touching it.
- NEVER light firecrackers in your hand and throw them!
- Lay firecrackers on the ground at a safe distance from spectators, light, and run several feet back.
- NEVER pull firecracker packs apart and light individually.
- This is a very common mistake we hear about in our stores. Customers come in and mention they are going to buy the packs that have a strip of 16, 100, 200, etc. firecrackers and pull them off the strip to light individually. When the firecrackers are made into strips, they use two fuses. One standard green fuse down the center, and then quick-fuse from the green fuse into the firecracker. If you pull the firecrackers off the strips, all you have to light them is that gray quick-fuse. Quick-Fuse burns at .5 seconds per foot, meaning that 1-inch fuse you’re going to light will ignite the firecracker the second you touch a flame to it!
- Place tube on a hard, flat surface to avoid tipping.
- NEVER load more than one shell into a tube! All tubes are designed for ONE shell at a time!
- ALWAYS use the designated tube that came with your shells. Tubes are specially made for the shells they come with, and interchanging them could cause a malfunction of the tube.
- When using more than one tube at a time, keep them a couple feet a part from one another. The force of a shell lifting off could knock your tube over, you don’t want it to fall into another tube that still has a lit shell inside.
- Do not lean over tube while lighting.
- NEVER approach a “dud” shell. Soak with water and avoid until morning.
- DO NOT SCREW TUBES DOWN! Especially on our Black Widow shells. The force of the lift charge on the shells can cause the tube to break off it’s base if it does not have any “give” during launch. Screwing the tubes down creates too much pressure when the lift charge fires.
Pro Tip: Use two cinder blocks to brace your tubes by squeezing the base of the tube between the blocks. Your cinder blocks should be facing your audience long ways, so if your tube was to fall, it can only fall in a direction away from viewers.
- NEVER hold Roman Candles in your hand. It says so on the warning label.
- Bury roman candles 3/4 way in sand, gravel, etc. to light. Make sure they are pointed away from your audience.
- You can also zip-tie or tape roman candles to fence posts or wooden stakes to light.
Pro Tip: You can create really cool patterns for your backyard show by attaching roman candles to wooden stands. Just make sure they are securely attached (we use zip-ties) and face them away from your audience.
- Place on a hard flat surface to avoid tipping.
- NEVER lean over a cake while you are lighting
- NEVER approach a “dud” cake. Soak with water and avoid until morning.
- Remember the ABC’s of cake safety. Always Brace Cakes.
- Brace cakes using two cinder blocks by squeezing the cake between the blocks. Make sure you turn the cake so you can light the fuse! Your cinder blocks should face your audience long ways, so that if the cake was to tip between the blocks, it can only tip away from your viewers.
- You can also brace cakes using wooden stakes. Drive the stakes into the ground, and duct tape the cake to it. This is especially helpful if you’re doing a large backyard show.
Pro Tip: Use a spreadsheet to help you lay out where your stakes go and what cake goes on them. Make sure you space them far enough a part that you feel comfortable walking from one to the other while the first one is firing. This method is a little more setup time, but a lot easier once it comes time to light!
- NEVER light rockets out of your hand.
- Use a bottle, bucket, pipe, or launch tube to fire rockets out of. Make sure you securely brace whatever you choose to shoot out of.
- Never stick rockets directly into the ground. They will not pull out upon launch, and will explode at ground level.
- NEVER fire a rocket with a broken stick. It will not fly correctly.
Pro Tip: If you plan on firing off a lot of rockets this 4th of July, consider investing in a pvc pipe from your local hardware store. Make sure its wide enough to loosely fit the stick of all your rockets into. Hammer your pipe down into the ground, angled away from houses and audience, and launch your rockets from there!
- Place on a hard flat surface to avoid tipping
- Make sure your audience is at least 20 feet away from the fountain
- Light and step back at least 20 feet.
- NEVER approach a “dud” fountain. Soak with water and leave until morning.
- Wait several seconds after your fountain has ended before approaching, in case it starts back up!
Fireworks are super fun and 100% safe if used correctly. Every year lawmakers try to tighten the laws on fireworks due to the accidents that occur, but most all of these accidents can be prevented with proper safety procedures. Help our future generations get to enjoy the fun of fireworks, by staying safe and preventing more accidents!